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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 3
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

Yes, judging should absolutely be examined. It has been dishonest and unfair for many years.
Teri Cademartori

Can you possibly imagine what is going to happen when the big boys of hockey begin play with the referees from European countries being involved. It already has shown its ugly head in games between the other 8 so called lesser teams where flagrant penalties go unpunished and minor holding the stick penalties are called. Canada will once again be singled out for their so-called rough play when the smooth diving Europeans start doing their 5.9 dives. Will it also be predetermined similar to the Sale/Pelletier losing to the lesser performance by the Russian pair given the gold by the European judges. The Olympics is a joke.
Punta Gorda, FL

Judging in figure skating stinks! As for the NFL, there should be video review to reverse obvious bias.
Guy Carrier

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier will always be first in my heart. They are the bravest and most gracious athletes that I've seen in a long time and I'm proud to have them represent Canada.

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier are the foremost athletes in Salt Lake. They skated beautifully, like angels and acted only with world-class sportmanship after being denied the medal they so fairly won. They won gold in all our hearts.
Saskia Tolsma

Sorry to say, but I have been watching figure skating events for 35 years, and many judges are so corrupt, it is sickening, not to mention heartbreaking for the athletes. But long-time viewers and all the athletes are well aware of who is the "best" in each discipline, despite the fact that they may not be "judged" the winners. Just watch the dance competition and see for yourself - there is not a dance pair on earth who can hold a candle to Bourne and Kratz.

We are three thirteen year old girls but we believe that we represent everyone heart in Canada who has watched Jamie Salé and David Pelletier. They are an amazing team who deserved gold, we are very saddened to see that their flawless performance wasn't good enough for the panel of judges. They may have won silver according to the judges but in every Canadians heart this team was worth gold. And this not only represents the Canadians, we believe that everyone around the world knows that it was Salé and Pelletier that won the gold. Does it matter who wins the gold as long as it's fair play? The Olympics are about athletics and presenting and recognizing the best in the world. When it comes down to it, the best in the world isn't a group that has a more technically difficult program, but rather the group that delivers the perfect performance, one enriched with both artistic and technical value. When one group falters and wins, it effects the whole world. We as young children hoping to perhaps enter the Olympics someday and baffled by the controversy that are in the Olympics now. Do we believe in fair play? When the judges took the oath on fair play, were they planning to keep their promise? These decisions by the judges shatter the dreams of children all around the world and even the young competitors now in the Olympics. Do we want to enter the Olympics with the wondering thoughts of whether we could even win even if we presented the best performance. If we do our best and we know we did the best we could, you can't ask for more. And not only did Sale and Pelletier deliver the performance of their life, they also delivered the best performance on Monday night and truly and honestly deserve to be the VERY best in the world. We would like to hear from the Russians, what do the Russians have to say. Do they feel proud, do they feel guilty or do they feel as baffled as everyone else around the world does? The Olympics have to be changed, all of us love to watch the athletes compete and we love to see our country win. However, if the Russians had delivered the better program than we would be happy to say that they Russians deserve to win, even if the Canadians got the gold. And we are hoping that perhaps the Canadians would have enough integrity to tell the Russians they deserve the gold and hand it over. Overall, we are so proud that we can call those two athletes Canadians, and we commend them for all the time they have spent working on what they love, because in our hearts, they are champions.
K and L

All the Eastern European judges (Russia, etc) should be banned from all skating competitions. They have shown in the past to be biased and done block voting.
Randy Rapson

The sport of figure skating has been tainted for years by questionable judging. Last evenings' awarding of gold to the Russian pair(whose program was flawed) is a slap in the face of all that the Olympics is supposed to represent. Canada wasn't just robbed, it was raped and pillaged.
Jude Campbell-Murphy

The loss of the gold medal last night is a sham on the part of the judges. If this is not fixed, and soon, it is going to destroy the whole Olympic movement. This is going to have to be fixed.
Ken McDonald

It is irrevelant. There is almost no point to having a competition when the results are decided upon before the event starts. Aside from the travesty that befell the Canadians, even the 4th place team should feel jaded by the 'judging' of last night. That is the last time I will ever watch a figure skating event.
Lewis MacMaster

Salé and Pelletier were punished for her collision with the Russians in the warm-up. The judges who judged them to be second likely blamed her for the Russian's less than gold performance. Also, as typical with European judges and skating officials, any skater or skaters who don't use music by dead European composers and don't wear costumes reminiscent of the height of European civilization, (ie. flouncy shirts) aren't 'true' to the ideals of figure skating. Salé and Pelletier, as well as Stojko, are often penalized for not conforming to these 'standards'.
Mike McKeever

I think all of Figure Skating should be dropped from the Olympics. It's too political and corrupt.
John Brown

Absolutely. Last night the world witnessed a travesty, and we cannot allow it to go unchallenged. Judges should be held accountable for their marks, and give justification of their decisions. Furthermore, there should be an appeal process, giving an independent panel of experts an opportunity to review videotape and judges' justifications to determine whether or not the decisions were fair ones. I fail to understand the "cone of silence" surrounding these judges and why they are allowed such omnipotence, which breeds favoritism and corruption as witnessed by the ice dancing judges. I think we need to put them and the reasons for their decisions into the public forum for general scrutiny. Changes have to be made so that judging is deemed fair, or subjectively-judged sports should be taken out of the Olympic Games.
A. Wojtowicz

The IOC members who awarded the Games to Salt Lake were corrupt and dishonest, why would anyone expect the corruption and dishonesty to stop there. It is obvious that there was corruption and dishonesty in the "judging" of the pairs competition. Jamie and David were robbed and the judging should be investigated. The IOC should not only be concerned with the impropriety in judging, but also with the perception of impropriety!!
G. Boissonneault

Yes. The decision that robbed the Canadians of gold and gave it to the Russians was a blatant sign of corruption.
Ed Gasior

Judging in figure skating has been examined ad nauseum. The abuse of power has proven ineradicable. Those of us who love the sport, have learned to judge for ourselves and enjoy the skating, but our hearts must often ache for young athletes who have been unfairly judged. That being said, I am prepared to see Russia take the gold medal in every discipline.
Sheila O'Neill

It was a sin to watch the gold medal be handed to the wrong pair last night. How can the "gold medal" pair make three glaring mistakes, while the Canadian pair make what was two rather slight errors - you can even question if they were mistakes. I do not know what can be done but something must be before Italy.

I feel that judging in figure skating stinks. How long can we turn are backs on this sort of thing. Canadians always seem to be the nice guys. We don't make waves. If this had happened to the Russians it would be an international incident.
Judy Green

Based on their performance last night, Salé, Pelletier and all Canadians have a right to be proud. I don't think there's doubt in anyone's mind who the best skaters of the night were. As for the judging, if this is how figure skating (and ice dancing) is judged, I see no good reason why professional wrestling should not be an Olympic sport. At least there, the athletes have the benefit of knowing for a fact that their performance has no bearing on the final outcome.
Mike Holden

Bourne and Kraatz - will the Canadian Olympic Association PLEASE PLEASE make a move now to protest the judging, so that B & K stand some sort of chance, at least, of being fairly judged? One has to finally ask themselves why our COA continues to let this behaviour go on?
B.A. Easton

Once Again, a clear example of why judged sports are not truly sports. I have never harbored any doubts about the athletic abilities of these competitors but sport should have a clear winner either by time, distance or speed.
Steve Angel

There is only one thing that can clean-up this sport. Start a new governing body and only allow clean judges...all the good skaters and sponsors will leave the garbage behind and move to a new cannot fix the existing need a brand new one....
Jack W. Rekis

The Olympic gold medal is like the chocolate medal, that anyone can buy. Since it appears to be "traditional" and dependent upon the "mood" of the judges, would it not be preferable to have the judging done by a robot?
Clair Sinclair

The Olympic gold medal is like the chocolate medal, that anyone can buy. Since it appears to be "traditional" and dependent upon the "mood" of the judges, would it not be preferable to have the judging done by a robot?
Clair Sinclair

Absolutely. Figure skating judging is, and always has been, disgraceful.
Aasa Marshall

Maybe Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation should simply buy out International Figure Skating. This whole figure skating circus started with Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding and has gone down hill ever since. If I were Bourne/Kraatz right now, I'd just show up on the ice, wave, go back to the dressing room and order in some good Salt Lake City Chinese Food. What's the point of participating if you already know the result. Jamie and David: you rock! Thank you for your efforts, hard-work, and dignity. You are role models for all of us!
Natalie Fingerhut

The judging at last night's long program performance is yet just another example of how subjective the judging can be. The Canadian pair clearly performed better than the Russian pair! Its not the judging that needs to be examined, it is the judges!
Keith Mountjoy

Yes, it most certainly should be - bearing in mind that ice dance is the most subjective of the figure skating disciplines.
Beverley Stamford

This is a sad day in sports. An event in the Olympics that has struggled with respect is now even worse. I was disgusted with the blatant fixing. This can only mean that the rumours of Bourne and Kraatz being out of the medals could be true. Something has to be done or the only thing that will happen is the death of several Olympic sports. This is a very sad day indeed.
Andrea Gimblett

I happen to have just returned from Salt Lake City, where Canada's men's bridge team won a gold medal in a pre-Olympic 'demonstration' event designed to help convince the IOC that the mind sport of bridge should be included in the next Winter Games. However, it now occurs to me that perhaps bridge doesn't belong there; you see, our championships are decided by the skill and performance of the players, as opposed to a panel of politically suspect judges who appear to have been watching a completely different competition. What a terrible experience last night must have been, not only for those who worked so hard and lost, but for those who won what they have to know is a tainted gold medal. Anyone associated with skating in an offical capacity should be embarrassed by what happened. The farcical ice dance judging over the last few years is bad enough; after last night's fiasco, skating should be removed from the Games at least until the ISU can demonstrate some level of integrity. And I know just what could replace it.
Ray Lee
President Canadian Bridge Federation

Many have been robbed thru suspect judging: Toller Cranston; Elizabeth Manley (she was cute, she was the best skater in Calgary but not as beautiful as Katarina... from East Germany); Kurt Browning; and in boxing: Roy Jones in Seoul. Rightly, we deplore the athletes who take performance enhancing drugs, we also deplore this type of cheating. The Olympic games are shooting themselves in the foot with this other Salé - Pelletier scandal. It's nothing's been happening for too many years and will only cease when TV ratings will decline so much that they'll have to clean up all sports to resume making millions.
Adrian Scanga,

Judging criteria in figure skating should definitely be examined. There was an obvious injustice perpetrated by the judging panel last night. It kills the Olympic spirit in us all.
Kevin Chawrun

Absolutely. I was sickened by the biased judging, many people will be put-off this sport because of this. Even the Russians knew this judgment to be wrong.
Kevan Garner

Yes, judging in figure skating must be examined, it has long been in question, and after last nights performance it only magnifies the need for it. I do not understand how a couple can skate a prefect number and not win, it is all political. Russia should be ashamed of accepting the gold when they actually made mistakes and still won when Canada was perfect. Don't tell me this isn't political. What a farce. Who picks the judges and why can't they be honest? J. Renick

I would never encourage my child to compete in figure skating because of the blatant corrupt judging. Last night's example was just one of many in past years.
Anita Perry

I think the judging was completely fair. The Russians were better skaters, they completed a much more difficult program and were so above the Canadians that even Salé knew and she had to try and crash into them in order to weasel her way to the gold. Clear and simple its talent that won over here and salé and pelletier just were not as talented or as sophisticated or as mature as the Russians.

Judging in Figure Skating definitely needs to be examined, as was evident from the last Russian fiasco. Why was it not done before this latest affront to Salé and Pelletier.
Joanne Rideout

Yes, judging in figure skating should be examined. I have always thought so. Judging appears to favour European skaters and has always done so. Why?

The fix was in. Obvious bias such as was exhibited against the Canadian pairs can only bring discredit to the sport of figure skating, and the Olympic movement. There should be an appeals process when subjective judging like this is involved.
R. Kaul

Why bother? Judging is pre-determined. Many thought so during previous games, and if any were in doubt, after last night's fiasco with Sales and Pelletier, surely they are convinced now. Would it be beneficial to any of the events to have the judging examined? No, it's clearly a political game, I'm almost determined not to continue watching the 2002 games. However, out of respect for those Canadian Athletes who have trained so hard for so long, I would be remiss not to show my support during their events. Will I watch any events without a Canadian contender? No. Shame on the Olympic officials for allowing this to happen, and shame on Canada for not standing up and speaking out on their behalf, as the U.S. or Russia would certainly have done. But, we are Canadian, and we only did what the world has expected from us. Step aside quietly, and don't make a fuss.
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